There are many ways a life can change.
A woman draws a gun on a man to reclaim a book that was never hers to begin with. He holds the book directly in her line of fire.
You know what could have happened-
-The gun moves from center mass to a head shot faster then the man can react.
He's dead before he hits the ground.-
-A bullet from a high caliber gun tears through the book and his neck with no difficulty.
A minute, maybe two. Long enough that you are there to see the light in his eyes fade to nothing, leaving only the fear in his dead expression. Long enough to feel the last pulse of blood under your hands, trying to hold it back even though you know-
-But the shot rings out, the man falls, and you order the woman to drop her weapon.
Please no, you think as you call out for assistance. Not him, not now, not like this, God please....
He's moving; right hand reaching up as you help him back to his feet (and when did you get to his side?). Both of you looking at the book still in his hands, the bullet seemingly caught under the arm of a saint.
The joke you make does not hide the rough relief in your voice.
Like I said. Weird, but it wanted to be written.